At some point in our lives we are full of possibility and expectation of what we can achieve. Unfortunately we can lose sight of this as life becomes a daily grind and we slowly slip into a rut. So is it possible to maintain the vision and passion that was once there? I think it is as long as we have a structure to follow.
Here are my three tips for getting back on track.
Tip #1: Rediscover what you enjoy
From my experience of working with diverse groups of people over the years I’ve found that most are at some point clear about what they want to achieve in their professional and personal life. However, what they are commonly unclear about is what they don’t want. As a result they fall into the trap of doing lots of things they dislike but feel compelled to do in order to be successful and happy. Eventually they get into a rut because they lose touch with what excites them.
If this sounds like you and you want to get back on track your first task is to re-capture your passion. If you have forgotten or lost touch with what you wanted, the best way to re-discover it is to be clear about what you don’t want.
Here’s a simple and easy technique to achieve this:
Firstly, get a clean piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. In the right column make a list of all the things you dislike about your work or personal life. This is your opportunity to drag out all those annoying things that you feel you have to do but if given a choice would rather not.
Secondly, next to each item on your list write the polar opposite, for example, if you don’t want to work for a boss, the polar opposite could be that you want to work for yourself. When your list is complete number the things in your “want to do” column in order of which is the most important to you. Then consider each item in the “don’t want to do” column and decide if you are prepared to stop doing it or if you are able to delegate it to someone else. This process will help you focus on your strengths and start you thinking about how you can manage your weaknesses.
To be effective in both our professional and personal lives we all have to perform tasks we don’t like. However, when the things we don’t enjoy outweigh the things we do enjoy we may get into a rut because we are not feeling fulfilled and not having much fun. Without a sense of accomplishment we can experience a lack of motivation and feel tired and burnt out. The first step to getting back on track is to change the balance of enjoyable tasks in our favour.
Tip #2: Create a plan
As mentioned earlier, the quickest way to get back on track and start feeling good about life again is to focus on what you enjoy the most. So, go back to your list, pick the most enjoyable task and make it more real by writing next to it when you will do it and how you will feel once it is done. Now set some short, medium and long term goals associated with that particular task.
Then create a simple plan of how you are going to get into action to achieve these goals making sure you are crystal clear about the very first step you need to take. This might be a phone call asking someone for help or support.
Tip #3: Take action
Okay, now it’s time to get into action. Most people don’t achieve their goals quite simply because they don’t take action. Procrastination can be a killer so the time to start is right now. The key is to think less and act more and don’t second guess yourself, just jump in and do something to get the ball rolling again. The first step is often the hardest because there’s no momentum. By taking immediate action you will start to build momentum which in turn makes it easier to take more action.
One of the reasons people get in a rut is because they don’t have a structure in place to prevent it happening. Implementing these simple ideas gives you a structure to help keep you on track in your professional and personal life. If you stick to routinely using this structure you will keep both of your professional and personal life on track and out of a rut.
Article by Phil Schibeci
Phil is a renowned corporate speaker and workshop facilitator. He teaches professionals in various businesses and organisations the skills to create positive, productive workplaces to help them achieve the goals of their business. In his book, How to Get Out of The RUT Race, Phil has put together a practical guide that provides readers with the tools to get out of a rut and achieve major life goals. For more information visit www.philschibeci.com or contact email@example.com